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Mazzulla: Luke Kornet was a ‘full go’ at practice

After dealing with an ankle injury for the past few weeks, Luke Kornet has gotten back in action at Celtics practice.

NBA: Boston Celtics at New York Knicks Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

At the Celtics’ Monday practice, center Luke Kornet was a full participant as he makes his way back from an ankle injury. Kornet sustained the injury back on September 30th, and has slowly worked his way back into action as the Celtics creep closer and closer to their season opener against the 76ers on October 18th.

“It’s doing well, it’s definitely gotten better,” said Kornet of the injury. “I feel like in the last several days, it’s turned a page from being in a more sensitive phase to feeling more mobile and more’s been good.” Boston inked Kornet in the offseason to a two-year deal, and Brad Stevens has spoken highly of him in the past.

“I’m building back up, like conditioning and all that kinda stuff,” said Kornet. “Just getting back out onto the court and getting into drills. Today was my first time doing some live playing and contact and stuff, so I’m just trying to build that up now.” The news is comforting with the Celtics facing Philadelphia on Opening Night without starting center Robert Williams in the fold following offseason knee surgery.

Since his injury, Boston went out and signed veteran forward Blake Griffin to a one-year, fully-guaranteed deal. Griffin made his debut on October 7th against the Charlotte Hornets, where he finished the game with 7 points on 1-of-6 shooting, 4-of-4 from the line along with 9 rebounds and two assists over 16 minutes off the bench. With Kornet nursing an injury and no Gallinari or Rob Williams to turn to, Griffin could look to be a rotational big for the Celtics at the start of the year.

Barring health, Kornet is expected to be a factor in Boston’s early season plans, but that’s no guarantee after the Celtics continue to trot out smaller lineups under Mazzulla. In addition to Griffin, Noah Vonleh has stood out so far during the Celtics preseason, and could be a factor for one of Boston’s remaining roster spots.

As of now, Kornet should be getting some minutes on Friday against the Toronto Raptors in Boston’s final preseason matchup, but the Celtics big rotation has changed a bit since his injury. It will be worth monitoring to see what sort of role Kornet could get, or if he may have a diminished role in favor of Griffin and Vonleh.

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